DRESDEN – Jan Iserbyt, 79, yachtsman, gourmet cook, skier, wine aficionado, linguist, artist, musician, motorcyclist, conservative political commentator, died peacefully May 5, 2008, at his home, after a long illness. He was surrounded by family; his close friend, Patricia Royall of Richmond; and his beloved dachshund, Montana. Jan was born May 2, 1929, in Kortrijk, Belgium, the son of Dr. Gerard Iserbyt and Helene Thienpont Iserbyt. He was a direct descendant of Jean Ignatius Thienpont, one of the founders of the modern state of Belgium. He attended Louvain University, Belgium. His yacht captain career commenced in the 1950s when he skippered yachts in the Mediterranean. Jan met his wife, Charlotte Thomson, in 1961, during her assignment to the American Embassy, in Brussels. They were married in 1964, at Saint Bridgid’s Church, Peapack, N.J., after which they returned to Belgium for three years. In 1967, Jan sailed his Alden schooner “Lelanta” from Holland to St. Georges, Grenada, W.I., where he operated her as a charter yacht in the Grenadines for six years. Jan and Charlotte moved to Camden, in 1970, at which time he became a U.S. citizen. Jan operated his ski shop at the Camden Snow Bowl for many years. Charlotte and Jan moved to Bath, in 1991, and to Dresden, in 2006. Jan, having grown up in occupied Belgium during World War II, and having been well educated in world history and political movements, actively supported and made possible his wife, Charlotte’s work as a writer and political activist in Maine and nationwide. Jan’s love of his adopted country, his kindness to those in need, his way with words, and his unique sense of humor will be remembered by his family and those who had the good fortune to know him. Jan is survived by his wife of 44 years, Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt of Dresden; two sons, Samuel Iserbyt of Dresden and Robert Iserbyt, who owns and operates Rockport Charters, Rockport, and Robert’s wife, Elizabeth Crockett Iserbyt; grandson, Lieven Roland Iserbyt; and four sisters, Mieke Wilking and Marleen Verstraeten of Holland, and Annie Coopmans and Kristin Stevens Iserbyt of Belgium. A Mass of Christian burial will be 11 a.m. May 31, at St. Patrick’s Church, Newcastle, with the Rev. Alfred Irving officiating. He will be laid to rest at St. Patrick’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Coastal Humane Society, Range Road, Brunswick, ME 04011. Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Strong Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 612 Main St., Damariscotta.
Posted Sept. 25, 2008, at 11:15 p.m.